En route to Baalbek, Lebanon
Ibn Battuta did not go to Baalbek in the order I did, though I doubt he went in the order he says he did either. He arrived via Syria and the Mediterranean coast but the order of cities prior to that is unlikely and in some cases impossible. Bear in mind that he was writing from memory 30 years and more after the events. As I can barely remember what I did two days ago I forgive him his little lapses - if I lost my little black book as I thought I had done en route from Tripoli to Baalbek, I would be lost.
So Ibn B probably did not see the gorgeous Qadisha Valley - he may not have mentioned it anyway as it was an old Christian hermit haunt; they used to come and live in caves, many of which can still be visited, and monasteries and convents abound, dotted over the hillsides and on the valley floor.
Fall colors of the Qadisha Valley.
It is the first time I have been here in fall and as the road winds up into the mountains, the panoramic views are quite beautiful with terraced hillsides of fruit trees, figs and poplars in late autumnal hues of russet and yellow; fallen leaves hug the roadsides and crunch satisfyingly underfoot on the sidewalk, the skies are a perfect blue, a warm sun sits low in the sky but it is agreeably, and suitably for the season, ‘nippy’. By the time we get over Mount Lebanon to Baalbek it is positively chilly. After the sun sets it is bloody freezing.